The husband teaches comparative religions in philosophy and I've been trying to rope him into reading manga for a while (even Death Note, with its stylish and cerebral plays on the Problem of Evil didn't move him). Maybe these two Bleach chapter covers for 305 and 306 might pique his interest.
No need to guess WHO this references.
False idols abound: science, fashion, pretty boy-ism, sex jokes. All the things that make me idolize Kubo, really.
My brain did some fun flip-flops with the imagery in this chapter. Stuff not worth posting here because they will sound like the ravings of a belladonna addict. The Phoenix, interestingly, is the feminine representation in Yin-Yang, while the Rain Dragon (yeah, Uryuu's name means Rain Dragon--I just love that) is the masculine. There are other black-white games going on in HM, but that little tidbit had me smiling for days.
Then, wow, Kubo hits us with Mayuri as a baphomet.
The mirror writing tells us that G-d is Not Perfect. Or does it tell us that the universe that allows the Problem of Evil (personified in characters like Mayuri and Szayel) allows an imagination like Kubo's to exist also? A wicked imagination. One that raped Nemu in one chapter and then revived her (rather erotically) in this one.
Someone make a macro super-imposing Kubo's face on this (the Baphomet) :
Religious symbolism has a field day in manga and anime, but Kubo is fairly organized with his imagery. It's mostly used for "cool" as in for fashion-spread effect but it's been used consistently. I first came upon this popular image while looking up Quincy stars some time back during a fit of Quincyism. Note the little five-pointed star on the Baphomet's head.
I'd appreciate any nutty religious ramblings anyone has to offer in comments.
I loved everything about this chapter. Everything from Szayel's crucifixtion to Mayuri's speech to the discovery of Pesh and Don (some comedy was unearthed there--I always appreciate it, even though some people think its inappropriate in the midst of all this horror) to the dangling bodies. The only thing that would've made this chapter perfect--haha--for me is if we'd gotten a glimpse of Grimmjow.
Ken Nnoi--the battle I most anticipated--seems dull in comparison now.
Of course, I was mostly concerned (as was Ishida--he's got such a inquisitive little adolescent intellectual's soul, doesn't he? <3) as to WHAT the holy moly Mayuri did to revive Nemu (Renji didn't have to ask, did he?) Now that the chapter is out, scanalated in English for my prurient mind, there's no mistaking that Mayuri did something to Nemu that made her blush and moan hearts and get all revitalized and ripe!
My friend Jasse felt a little cheated that Nemu's previous horrific experience was solved so lightly. My answer was that there wasn't much lightness here--Nemu is still a sympathetic character, even if she's "robotic." There's been incest insinuations from the beginning of Bleach---I used to argue that to everyone. Mayuri/Nemu=OTP! What I think now is that Szayel's humiliation of Nemu wasn't that big of an ordeal to her because body cavity invasion must be par for the course in Mayuri's lab.
Ishida wants to know (he's so innocent <3) just what Mayuri did to her. Evil mistakes innocence for ignorance and chides Ishida, so we don't get a scientific explanation of how Mayuri revived Nemu in the story. How convenient.
Still, a glorius chapter. Speculation has it that those are Cirucci and (what's left of ) Luppi hanging in Szayel's lab. Now wouldn't it be interesting if Mayuri could revive these guys? I have my fingers crossed--I loved both characters.
To another topic. It's come to my attention that the internet is a nasty place. I used to mod a fan forum in my naive youth and I'd rather take a stroll through Mayuri's lab than do that again. The fun part, though, was always posting rules. Yesterday I came up with not rules but a few guidelines to avoid angst.
1. DON'T ASSUME THAT PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIKE TO READ YAOI/BL ARE "HOMOPHOBIC." Some of my friends who just don't read the stuff totally support gay-lesbian-bi-transgendered rights.
2. CREDIT ARTISTS. Seriously, you can't go around right-clicking everything and uploading the arts on photobucket without the artists getting upset. Link and credit! Japanese sites are closing down because of this! See:
3. Don't swim after you've eaten. Don't post after you had one too many beers.
That is all.
Man, I really need to fix the tags on this community. They're out of control. This numbering the manga episodes is going to blow my tag limit soon. I need to direct all my fiction into one spot---ARGH!